Whether your home is filled with heirloom antique furniture or pieces you purchased new, it is important to know how to save them if floodwater gets into your home during a bad storm.
While not all furniture will necessarily be salvageable, acting quickly and using the correct techniques will go a long way towards preserving those pieces that are not too badly damaged.
To this end, follow each of these steps if your furniture is exposed to water in a flood.
Step 1: Plan for Possible Flooding Before a Storm Hits
One of the best things you can do to protect furniture from flood damage is to be proactive. By moving furniture from a basement or first floor to an upstairs bedroom or attic space before the start of a storm, it will be out of the path of danger.
Sometimes flooding happens in areas where it is not predicted, but often it can be foreseen. By proactively moving furniture out of harm's way, you won't have to risk losing it. This will save you a lot of money and future headaches.
Step 2: Move Wet Furniture to a Dry Place
If you were not able to move your furniture and now it is wet, then the first step to mitigate the damage is to move each piece to a clean, dry place as soon as possible.
The longer wood or fabric sits in water, the lesser chance you will have to save it. So getting things to dry land ASAP is key.
Important Note: Before you move anything in your flooded home, take plenty of date-stamped photos of the damage. The photos will help later when negotiating an equitable settlement with your homeowner's insurance company.
Step 3: Help Out the Furniture Drying Process
It is vital to dry out furniture pieces as soon as possible so mold will not start to grow.
To speed up the drying process, you should:
- run as many fans as you have
- run a dehumidifier if you own one
- open up all nearby windows.
The fans will circulate air and speed the drying process while a dehumidifier and open windows give the excess humidity from evaporation somewhere to escape.
Step 4: Breakdown Furniture Pieces to Speed Drying
If you have wet fabric-covered couches and chairs, then it is important to remove the cushion covers from their inner foam. This will make it easier for the high-density foam to dry out and the fabric covers as well.
If the covers are machine washable, then you should take them to the local laundromat for thorough washing.
Step 5: Call in a Professional
Finally, if you have a lot of damaged furniture and want the best chance of saving it, then calling in a professional damage restoration company is always going to be your best option. They have all of the tools and knowledge necessary to give your belongings the best chance for a good outcome post-flood.
For more information on flood damage, contact a professional near you.